When you first thought about getting a dog, you probably pictured all the positive things about dog ownership. You know, things like cuddling up with your dog on the couch, running around with them outside, watching the tail uncontrollably wag when they see you. All these things will bring a smile to any dog owner’s face.
However, you probably didn’t picture all the “downsides” to dog ownership, such as the dog getting into the trash, tearing up the couch, eating your dinner, and so on. One of the things that frustrate dog owners the most is when their dog poops in the house. It’s especially frustrating when the dog is potty trained and this behavior appears again out of nowhere.
If you find yourself in this position, you’re probably wondering how to get your dog to stop pooping in the house. Half the battle to ending this behavior is to figure out why they are doing it in the first place. We will start by going over the most common reasons why your dog might be doing this. Once you have an idea of why this new behavior has begun, we will talk about a few things you can do to put an end to it.
Is Your Dog House Trained?
Before we start talking about our top methods to get your dog to stop pooping inside, you must understand this article was written with the assumption that your dog is already house trained.
If your dog is not house trained, we recommend you start with basic potty training methods. You’ll have much quicker success than following the practices below.
If your dog is house trained and recently picked up this bad habit, the rest of this article is for you.
Why Is My House Trained Dog Pooping In The House?
When you spend all that time potty training your dog, it can get really frustrating when they start pooping inside again. Once you identify the reason this might be happening, you can quickly put an end to it. Here are the most common reasons potty trained dogs start going number two inside.
After dogs are potty trained, most of them understand that going to the bathroom inside isn’t allowed, no matter where they are. However, some dogs think the rule only applies to the house they were potty trained in.
If you recently moved or if you got a new dog that was supposed to be potty trained, this new environment is likely the reason why they started pooping in the house. The good news is this is easily corrected by following basic potty training principles. The bad news is you’ll have to potty train your dog each time you move.
One thing is certain in this life; the aging process is not graceful. There are multiple reasons aging might cause a dog to poop inside. The brain of an elderly dog doesn’t work as well as it used to. When you take them on walks, they may simply forget they have to go. If you don’t take them out again that day, they’ll go inside if they can’t hold it in any longer.
The other reason aging can cause a dog to poop inside suddenly is that they have trouble controlling their bowels due to muscles weakening. As much as they might try to hold it in, their muscles may be too weak.
Hip dysplasia and arthritis are common in dogs and can be incredibly painful. It can reach the point where trying to get in and out of the doggy door causes too much pain, so your dog will go poop inside the house. Although this one can go along with aging, it’s not exclusive to elderly dogs. If you notice your dog walking funny, or having trouble standing up, schedule an appointment with the vet as soon as possible.
We all know some dogs pee in the house when they are stressed, afraid, or excited. This level of excitement causes them to lose control of their bladder. Believe it or not, some dogs also lose control of their bowels when they reach that level of excitement.
Many things can trigger this, such as separation anxiety, a loud noise, and getting excited to see someone they love. Thankfully, there is medication that can help if this is the issue.
Fear of Being Attacked
Dogs are creatures of instinct and won’t go to the bathroom where they don’t feel safe. They don’t want a predator to smell their presence, so instead of going outside where it feels dangerous, they’ll go inside where they know it’s safe.
If this is the cause, you just need to make your dog feel safe. That could include building a fence in your backyard if you don’t already have one, or just staying outside with them until they go number two.
The good news is this is usually temporary. Once they realize it’s safe to poop outside again, everything will return to normal.
There is a wide range of medical reasons that could be causing your dog to poop in the house suddenly. It would take too long to go over them all here, but the most common are IBS, food allergies, and parasites. If you suspect something might be medically wrong with your dog, be sure to get them into the vet as soon as possible.
How To Get The Dog to Stop Pooping in The House
Think about it from your dog’s perspective, as far as they know, they’re allowed to get immediate relief without going outside. Why would your dog want to change their behavior when the whole house is their bathroom?
The methods below will help your dog realize that it’s not ok to go to the bathroom in the house and that there’s a designated spot outside for them to get relief.
Teach The Word “Outside”
This is a command that every dog owner should teach their dog, but it’s especially important if your dog is in the habit of pooping indoors. Although it takes some time to teach them this command, the method is simple. Keep a close eye on your dog when you’re home. Each time it looks like they’re about to poop, pick them up and bring them outside. Once they start pooping outside, say the word “outside” and give them a reward when they’re done.
Over the next few days or weeks, your dog will learn that “outside” means to go to the bathroom outside. It takes some patience, but this is one of the most valuable commands to teach a dog.
Have a Regular Eating Schedule
If you “free feed” your dog and they have recently started going to the bathroom inside, then you’ll need to get them on a consistent eating schedule. Sporadic feeding means sporadic pooping. This isn’t a big deal for dogs that relieve themselves outside, but if they’re going inside, free-feeding isn’t for them.
Figure Out Their Potty Schedule
On top of getting them on a regular eating schedule, you need to figure out their potty schedule. Some dogs need to poop an hour after eating. For some, it’s up to 6 or 7 hours. You can’t just take your dog out to use the bathroom when they don’t need to go. Once you get your dog on a consistent eating schedule, you’ll quickly learn their bathroom schedule. By taking them outside when you know they need to poop, there’s a much better chance they’ll do it outdoors instead of indoors.
Use Puppy Pads
These are designed for puppies when potty training, but they work for adult dogs as well. Place the pad outside where you want them to poop. When you take them out, make sure they walk near the pad a few times. This might “remind” them to poop while outside. This works great for elderly dogs since they often “forget” to go to the bathroom…the pad will remind them, “it’s time to go.”
Leash Your Dog to Yourself
This is another one that requires a lot of supervision, but it’s important you don’t ever let your dog poop inside. The more they do it, the more they’ll think it’s ok. The best way to prevent this is to tether your dog to yourself with a six-foot leash. Whenever they show signs that they’re about to get, immediately lead them outside. I know it sounds a bit extreme, but it’s not permanent. You just need to do this until they realize pooping inside is not ok. If you have to go to work and leave your dog alone, you might want to consider hiring a temporary dog sitter.
Crate Your Dog When They’re Alone
As stated above, it’s important to reduce the number of times they go in the house. If you’re unable to hire a dog sitter, crating is the next best option. A dog will rarely use the bathroom in their own crate. You can then take them outside right when you get home. Make sure to use this as a temporary fix, not a permanent solution.
There are plenty of methods you can use to get your dog to stop pooping in the house. As you can see, they all boil down to simply not letting it happen. The more a dog poops in the house, the stronger the habit will become. If you want your dog to stop going number two inside the house, the first step is to figure out why they are doing this, then use one of the six methods above to break the habit.
This bad behavior will be fixed before you know it!
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